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School-Community Engagement Initiative

The students in Worland, Pinedale, and Torrington are working on projects to improve their schools and communities. 

Sarah Williams and Mary Werner prepare spaghetti.
Sarah Williams and Mary Werner prepare spaghetti for Comfort Kitchen in Torrington.

Torrington Middle School

On June 5, the Torrington middle school inquiry class held a dinner they called Comfort Kitchen.  The class goal is to start a community meal program for families, particularly those with school-age children, to receive free, home-cooked meals.  This dinner was a way to raise awareness, and hopefully financial and community support, for the program.

These caring students, led by teachers Sarah Williams and Mary Werner, have been working on this project for several years.  This year, they joined with the Partnership’s School-Community Engagement Initiative.  In April, they visited the soup kitchen in Laramie to see how a community meal program was run.

The inquiry class invited several community members to a test-run of what the meal program in Torrington could look like.  They decided to prepare what they’d been served at the Laramie soup kitchen - spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad.

While everyone ate, several class members explained their vision for the future.  These students are determined to get Comfort Kitchen up and running on a regular basis soon in Torrington!

A Torrington middle school student helps cook dinner.
Maddy Werner was having fun preparing the meal for Comfort Kitchen in Torrington.

Worland High School

In April, the Worland High School students received help from the local BLM Wind River/Bighorn Basin District Firefighters to remove invasive Russian olive trees.  Read the full story here.

The video to the left is the result of a collaborative effort by the students in Kitsy Barnes' Biological Field Studies class.  The students determined they want to make a series of improvements at Riverside Park in Worland.  Among other things, they plan to create an exercise path, plant flowers, clean up the river, and make the river bank more visitor-friendly by adding stabilizers to slow the effects of erosion.  These students will be working in collaboration with Dr. John Anderson, the initiative facilitator, as well as Dr. Dorothy Tuthill, Dr. Greg Brown, and Brenna Wanous of the University of Wyoming’s Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center.

For more history on why Kitsy Barnes's class was chosen, read the press release from 2011, here.

Pinedale High School

The link to the video below is from Pinedale High School.  Two classes, Rose DeNinno’s advisory class and Jasper Waremburg humanities class, are making big plans. They intend to put up a new statue of their school mascot, a Wrangler, on the hill above the school. They also propose to ask local government to build a bike path to an under-served area of the county. In addition, both classes are working with the Sublette County BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) to develop a youth night that will serve as a pilot for an eventual young adult center.  Conversations about community and school improvement are also motivating students to become responsible citizens. Waremburg’s humanities class recently undertook the task of apologizing for student behavior from the previous year when a few students egged the Jackson High School bus. Read more in our newsletter.  Beginning early this summer, these two classes will start working with Dr. Terry Burant, Department of Educational Studies, University of Wyoming, College of Education.

Pinedale High School Weather Report

Read the updates in our May 2012 newsletter!

Click here for 2011-2012 Annual Report Flyer

The school-community engagement initiative is funded with the generous support of each participating school district, the National Network for Educational Renewal,  UW’s Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, UW’s Division of Student Affairs, and the Wyoming School-University Partnership.

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